How Water Strategizing is Remaking the Middle East

Via The Wilson Center, a new report on how water strategizing is remaking the Middle East:

For years, many Middle Eastern states have engaged in high-stakes, if generally haphazard, forms of water strategizing. Intent on guaranteeing their water futures amid fluctuations in access—and periodic scarcity, these countries have adopted unique and varyingly successful approaches to water security. Upstream powers, such as Turkey and Iran, exercise their power by building electrified dams, reducing flow to downstream states. Meanwhile, resource rich states have relied on desalination technology to fulfill their water needs. However, the expansion of dams and desalination reflects outdated thinking in regard to MENA’s water challenges, while resource poor downstream states face fewer options for dealing with increasing scarcity. MENA’s best hope may lie in increasing transnational cooperation on water to avoid conflict. Some deals have already taken place, but the region faces a crossroads in dealing with a tense water future.

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